The United Special Sportsman Alliance (USSA) collaborated with Adrenaline Ridge and private landowners to organize their annual youth deer hunt in Bancroft, WI, from October 6th to 8th. The event’s objective is to pass on the tradition of deer hunting to ten special hunters aged 15 and under.
Heidi, the mother of Aricka and Izaia, was thrilled to involve her children in the hunt. Aricka shared that deer hunting was her favorite part of the experience. She felt really happy when she got her two does and would love to go hunting again. Izaia enjoyed the experience and said his favorite part was getting his first buck a 3-pointer! He felt happy and excited and would love to go hunting again. Heidi said, “The most significant impact was getting my children involved in this youth hunt and spending quality time with just two of them at once. I would love this opportunity again with some of my younger children.”
Jackie said, “When our social worker informed us about the opportunity, I immediately contacted the United Special Sportsman Alliance.” She signed up Allayah and Hayden because they had been asking to go hunting. However, she had yet to gain experience in any hunting. “Allayah was fortunate to have an experienced mentor, Jon, who taught her and me a lot. She formed a strong bond with Jon and became friends with him.” Allayah said, “I enjoyed shooting the AR rifle. Jon was very nice. I felt happy when I got my doe and can’t wait to go hunting again.” Hayden’s mentor, Joel, patiently taught him hunting and deer processing. Hayden said, “The best part of my hunt was shooting my doe; I was sad at first but then happy that I got meat from my deer.” Jackie said, “Seeing the excitement on their faces after they shot the deer was heartwarming. I am incredibly proud of them. I will forever be grateful to their mentor and Eric Beggs for their kindness!
Kim shared that her son Austin, who had always been interested in hunting, can now pursue his passion. The opportunity became possible after he underwent cataract surgery, which was necessary due to radiation. Interestingly, even Austin’s father, who was not into hunting before, expressed his desire to learn. So, it has now become a great bonding experience for the family. Austin said, “My favorite part was my mentor Kenneth teaching me how to hunt and getting my first doe. We yelled in the blind and were so happy; it was a rush of excitement!” Kim added, “Seeing the confidence in Austin after getting his doe was heartwarming. He has always struggled to fit in with his peers, and hunting is a way for him to connect with his friends at school.”
Rebecca’s daughters Maya and Claira learned to shoot during a USSA event and immediately became interested in hunting. Maya said, “I felt proud and excited when I got my deer. Hunting is something that I love, and I can’t wait to do it again!” Claira added, “I enjoyed everything about it, but my favorite parts were the food and hunting. I was nervous and excited when I got my deer.” Mike mentored Maya, while Eric mentored Claira, and both girls were able to bag a nice doe. Rebecca shared, “The girls had a lot of fun, and they’ve been telling many people about their incredible hunting experience.”
Danielle enrolled her son David in the learn-to-hunt program because he was interested in hunting. David particularly enjoyed spotting the buck and then successfully bagging a nice doe, saying, “My heart was racing, and I was so excited!” Danielle was overjoyed when she saw her son’s smile and expressed gratitude for such a wonderful experience. When asked if he wanted to go hunting again, the young man said, “Yes!!”
Braidan said, “The best part of my hunting trip was being able to go with Brent and his friend Henry. Meeting the other kids was great, and our cabin was awesome!” On the first day of the hunt, they went out early and saw a small buck and several does. Despite their efforts, Braidan was unable to take a shot. The following morning, he shot at a buck and nicked it, but it managed to escape. In the afternoon hunt, Eric and Henry accompanied him, and he successfully shot a nice doe, making a remarkable shot. Braidan’s mother, Megan, was grateful for the opportunity given to her son. She was delighted to see the excitement in Braidan’s eyes when he found out he was going and the joy in his voice while recounting his experiences throughout the weekend.
Jason, his daughter Kennedy, and their mentor, Jeremy, were in their hunting blind scoping the landscape when a nice buck came into sight. Jason said due to technical issues, Kennedy didn’t have the option to use the cell phone sighting; instead, she had to look through the scope. She hit the deer a little back from a perfect shot, so we waited until morning to track it. When we didn’t find the deer in the first 10 minutes, I could see the disappointment in her eyes. I explained to her that tracking the deer was part of hunting and it was normal to have mixed emotions during the process. But when we finally found the deer, all her disappointment vanished, replaced by happiness and excitement. We found the 4-point buck with a broken tine approximately 70 yards from the shot, and she was very excited. Kennedy said, “Shooting my buck and playing with the kids was the best part of my deer hunt! I can’t wait to go hunting again!”
Congratulations to all the hunters from USSA for their successful hunt. They bagged two bucks and nine does, creating unforgettable memories with their mentors and parents in the blind. Thanks to Eric and Marilyn Beggs, Adrenaline Ridge, mentors, landowners, volunteers, and USSA and other financial donors for their participation and dedication in making it an unforgettable experience in the great outdoors. God bless!